New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm a brand-new member, brought to you by yesterday's harrowing experience. I'm hoping you cat experts can give my wife and me some advice. This is all new to us.

Last year we took in a stray female, a young cat (though she had at least one litter outside) whom we named Trixie and who has become the love of our lives. Last month a neighbor kid brought over another stray kitten (about 8 months old, undernourished, but friendly and playful, capable of also becoming the love of our lives). While we were getting the kitten, now named Babs, all her shots, deworming, spaying, etc., we kept her in a part of the house separate from Trixie. After a couple of weeks, we introduced their scents to each other, then eventually let them look at each other behind glass doors. The kitten was understandably wary, but Trixie wasn't aggressive; in fact, she almost seemed to want to play--making us hopeful.

Yesterday we decided it was time to put them together (it's been a month). While I held the youngster, Trixie circled my feet, intent on the kitten but seemingly benign. Eventually we put Babs on the floor. Trixie instantly attacked her--big time. The kitten ran like hell, smashing into the door. Fur (the kitten's) flew, and we broke it up with a squirtgun. Trixie's claws (we have not nor will not declaw either of them) were thick with her sister's fur, but there was no blood. We broke up the attack in time.

The kitten was terrified, of course--as were we--and now we don't know what to do. We don't want to endanger the baby, but we really want this is work out.

We don't know if we should put Trixie on a harness and leash, if we should put the baby in her carrier on the floor, or what. The cat doctor isn't much help; she just tells us to "read her brochure"--which has all the standard advice about rubbing them with each other's towels, etc. We did all that.

Can any of you folks offer advice or encouragement? Can we do anything differently, better, or should we just stay the course and hope Trixie doesn't seriously hurt Babs? To me that seems pretty risky. Trixie did seem to want to murder her.

I understand the feline dynamics of territory, etc. I read the books. Now I just need some good practical advice. Fast.

Thank you very, very much.

Buzzer
post #2 of 20
My suggestion would be to create some kind of divider where the cats can see smell and hear each other, but not get to each other...give them some time to acquaint.

There are many other things that other members here will chime in with.

Spotz
post #3 of 20
Hi Buzzer!

It sounds like you may have to re-introduce your babies.

This is a very helpful article written by Hissy about introducing cats here : http://www.thecatsite.com/cat_behavi...oducing%20Cats

I hope this helps!
post #4 of 20
Patience. I know it's hard!!! And I am so sorry about the trauma -- to EVERYONE there -- in your first introduction attempt. But it will almost certainly work out better with time. Don't panic.

Spotz' idea is great!

I'd suggest, when you see that the two cats are both relaxed at the sight and smell and sound of one another, offer them VERY SHORT sessions, in a large room, together. You should try to make each session just a few minutes longer, but to END each session BEFORE the hissing begins. You're trying to build for the cats a positive experience being in the other's presence.

I tell people to be sure to feed the cats on opposite sides of a firmly closed door when they are first housing a new pet. This is like Spotz' idea, it lets the cats get used to a new experience, with a limited set of senses working on it.

With any introductions, you are focussing on getting the cats to the point where they look like "hey, it's no big deal if there's someone else here. IS there someone else here? Really?? Huh."

Cats probably learn their tactics and they can be as inventive as we people can in combat or conflict! :-P It sounds like your Trixie takes sort of the "passive-aggressive" approach of acting like everything's fine, but fixing Babs with a stare or just biding her time until Babs is not alert. Sorry! So then, remember to watch BABS' relaxation as well as watching Trixie's.

By the way, I have a Trixie, too!! Get this: Trixie is a diminutive tuxedo cat, spayed female. But if she decides that things are too quiet, her favorite little gambit is to stalk and attack another cat, then SCREAM as though they had tried to kill HER!

It took me a while to catch on to this. Pretty, uh, clever, eh? And everyone who meets her is taken in, because she is small, and cute, and who would SUSPECT she would be so TWOFACED? She is getting better about it, since we figured out the game, and don't let her play it so easily any more.

Linda
post #5 of 20
Welcome to TCS

Here is also a link for you to read up

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=22138
post #6 of 20
hello, trixie might just be jealos, thas what happened to our 6 cats. i put up a screen door with the kittens( my stray had kittens ready had 2 cats) in one room and the grown cats in the other. the eventually didnt want to kill each other
post #7 of 20
There is a thread here: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25575 about a member here, Sicy, who introduced her cat to a new kitten. The thread is long but it goes through the ups and downs of introducing a new kitten to a cat that wasn't all that happy at first. If you follow what Sicy did, you'll be on the road to having these two getting along.

I would completely start over with Trixie and Babs, as if it were day one. Separate them, in different rooms and go from there.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who gave advice. We're pretty depressed about the bad beginning and the prospect of making these sweet girls unhappy. Every time we pick up the kitten, she's now terrified that we're taking her to the older cat. It makes us heartsick.

We're going to try from scratch. We'll set the baby in our sunroom, with its glass doors and windows, where they can look at each other, but where the older cat can't get to the baby. The downside to this is that the baby then won't be able to avoid seeing Trixie--which, as I said, now terrifies her.

An alternative is to set up the kitten in a bedroom, with a regular, not glass, door. But this hardly seems to advance the matter. They'll never see each other. Yes, Trixie will certainly sit at the closed door, but Babs, scared to death, won't get anywhere near it.

Any further advice on this?

Thanks again, folks. It's great to have you with us in spirit.

Gary ("Buzzer")
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Has anyone heard of a disastrous beginning like ours really ending up all right? Or should we start facing the possibility that Trixie simply won't tolerate another cat--at least without both of them being miserable?

Gary (Buzzer)
post #10 of 20
Happy endings abound from bad beginnings.

Give her something to hide in in the sunroom.

Also...the barrier idea that I suggested is easily accomplished with two child gates.

Put one above the other in a doorway. Then they can see smell and hear each other...but not touch

You have to give these two ladies time to get acquainted with each other, if you try to force the matter, they will both rebel.

you can also try getting a coupla feliway diffusers (dunnoh how big your house is) and see if that helps 'diffuse' matters a bit.

Just make sure you are spending equal time with each kitty...

Spotz
post #11 of 20
You have gotten a lot of good advice here. I have heard that in multi-cat households the alpha cat will often take the highest perch available, and the submisive{sp?} cat will take a position that is physically lower. We used to have two cats at my house, and we did observe our alpha cat taking the higher position many times. You were holding the kitten, when she was introduced to Trixie, which put her on a higher livel, so I wonder if that might have made the kitten seem more threatening to her?
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotz
Happy endings abound from bad beginnings.

Give her something to hide in in the sunroom.

Also...the barrier idea that I suggested is easily accomplished with two child gates.

Put one above the other in a doorway. Then they can see smell and hear each other...but not touch

You have to give these two ladies time to get acquainted with each other, if you try to force the matter, they will both rebel.

you can also try getting a coupla feliway diffusers (dunnoh how big your house is) and see if that helps 'diffuse' matters a bit.

Just make sure you are spending equal time with each kitty...

Spotz
Thanks again. What's a "feliway diffuser"?

Gary
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorie D.
You have gotten a lot of good advice here. I have heard that in multi-cat households the alpha cat will often take the highest perch available, and the submisive{sp?} cat will take a position that is physically lower. We used to have two cats at my house, and we did observe our alpha cat taking the higher position many times. You were holding the kitten, when she was introduced to Trixie, which put her on a higher livel, so I wonder if that might have made the kitten seem more threatening to her?
Hm. Interesting.
post #14 of 20
Feliway is a relatively new product, similar to a the plug-in air freshners. The difference is that it has no scent, but instead releases a synthetically produced pheremone that is supposed to help reduce stress in cats.

http://www.feliway.com/

Many pet stores are starting to carry this product and I have heard nothing but good things about it. I have no first hand experience with it, but other members here do.

Spotz
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
We'll check it out. Thank you.
post #16 of 20
You can also accomplish the same thing with one baby gate, simpy put it up vertical in the doorway instead of horizontal, that way the two cats are not cut off from each other and can adjust to each other scent. Also feed them with the barrier between them, nothing calms a cat more than company while they eat, cats are social eaters- and again with the babygate between them, the kitten is safe.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm going to the store today for baby gates. The poor kitten needs to be in the family, and she's spent the last month in the damn laundry room.

Once or twice a day we've been locking up the older cat in the basement to let the baby out in the house to stretch her legs. The kitten is still very afraid and jumps at every sound. We're hoping she gets over her terror. We can't stand the thought that she might be traumatized forever.

Thanks again. We'll keep you informed.

P.S. Tomorrow we're meeting with the cat doctor behavioral expert.
post #18 of 20
The Feliway diffuser is called Comfort Zone. You plug it into the wall and it emits a calming pheromone into the air. Many of our members have used it in cases in which their cats were exhibiting territorial behavior. It is a tad expensive, but most of us have found it well worth the cost. You can buy a Comfort Zone diffuser at most pet supply stores (such as PetsMart).
post #19 of 20
Try putting the older cat into the kitten's room when the kitten is out. This is the best way for them to get used to each others smells. If old cat never goes into kitten's room, she may never have become comfortable with kitten's scent.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzer
I'm going to the store today for baby gates. The poor kitten needs to be in the family, and she's spent the last month in the damn laundry room.

Once or twice a day we've been locking up the older cat in the basement to let the baby out in the house to stretch her legs. The kitten is still very afraid and jumps at every sound. We're hoping she gets over her terror. We can't stand the thought that she might be traumatized forever.

Thanks again. We'll keep you informed.

P.S. Tomorrow we're meeting with the cat doctor behavioral expert.
You have gotten excellent suggestions here, and you seem like you're picking up on lots of 'em, and I think that the step of seeing a behavior expert is PERFECT and very wise.

Your committment and consistent love will go a long way toward helping these two find a way to get along in the same space!

Linda
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior